Grower Resources

BENCO: Break-Even for New Crop Options Model

The Break-Even for New Crop Options model, or BENCO, is an interactive tool that allows growers to evaluate the profitability of adopting alternative crops into an existing cropping system. BENCO is an Excel workbook. 

The results of a BENCO analysis are two-fold. The first analysis shows the per-acre net returns (gross returns minus cash and fixed costs) specifically for one or two new crops. It then includes existing crops for a whole-farm analysis. The second analysis shows the break-even price and yields for new and existing crops.  

The BENCO model is dynamic. When a crop is added, replaced, or acres increased or decreased, the costs of producing other crops in the model also change. Growers can update the model with their farm data. 

The following resources will help growers use BENCO to analyze the adoption of guayule and other new crops. The BENCO presentation will provide an overview of the model. The User Guide and Overview will guide the setup of the model. The BENCO Excel file can be downloaded and modified. 

BENCO Excel File

BENCO User Resources

BENCO Instructional Videos

Coming Soon

Guayule Field Days

The SBAR Extension Team hosts an annual Guayule Grower Field Day at the Bridgestone Guayule Research Farm to share new scientific finding and discuss the progress Bridgestone and SBAR have made towards commercialization of the desert shrub. All areas of management are discussed and potential growers gain an understanding of what should be expected when commercial acreage production is required.

Guayule Grower Field Day, November 2022

The Bridgestone Research Farm in Eloy welcomed a large group of growers on Tuesday, November 1st for a Guayule Grower Field Day. Speakers included researchers and extension agents from both the University of Arizona and Bridgestone. Dr. Dave Dierig welcomed the group with an overview of Bridgestone’s ongoing investment in guayule. Will Thelander offered a grower’s perspective on the experience of growing guayule for 4 years. Detailed presentations covered weed and pest management practices, irrigation, using the BENCO model to forecast new crop adoption, and more.

Dr. Sam Wang provided an in-depth tour of Bridgestone’s guayule fields. Russ Brock, Agro Operations Supervisor, provided a detailed review of the guayule harvesting equipment developed by Bridgestone. Growers also viewed a weed control trail of newly planted guayule.

Bridgestone presented details on contracts available to farmers interested in growing guayule. For further information, contact Del Craig:

Guayule Virtual Field Day 2020

Due to the COVID pandemic, the SBAR Extension team transitioned the event in 2020 to a virtual platform and hosted over 100 people from 5 states and 2 countries and featured several presentations discussing guayule production. Interesting presentations from University of Arizona Extension Specialists, Bridgestone researchers and SBAR researchers discussing insect pests, agronomic production, weed control and economic outlook for guayule were part of the day.

Extension Weed Specialist, Bill McCloskey, describes weed control challenges and strategies to optimize growth of guayule seedlings in various cropping situations.

Associate Director for Tribal Extension Programs and Agricultural Economics Specialist, Trent Teegerstrom, explains the Enterprise Budgets and Whole Farm Analysis Tools, which allow producers to analyze the financial impact of adopting new crops into their operations.

Guar Virtual Farmer Field Day

Information on agronomic optimization of guar was presented and the research results of guar demonstration trial at Tucumcari Agricultural Science Center, Tucumcari, NM were shared with field day participants in August 2020.

Extension Agronomist, John Idowu, provides an overview of guar as a potential alternative crop. A presentation provided at the 2020 Virtual Field Day at the NMSU Rex E. Kirksy Agricultural Science Center, Tucumcari, New Mexico.

Guar can easily be harvested using existing farm equipment. A short video describes how the harvesting process works at the NMSU Agricultural Science Center in Clovis, NM.